The galaxy Messier 101 is a swirling spiral of stars, gas, and dust. Messier 101 is nearly twice as wide as our Milky Way galaxy in this image as seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
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Spitzer Space Telescope's View of Galaxy Messier 101

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The galaxy Messier 101 is a swirling spiral of stars, gas, and dust. Messier 101 is nearly twice as wide as our Milky Way galaxy. Spitzer's view, taken in infrared light, reveals the galaxy's delicate dust lanes as yellow-green filaments. Such dense dust clouds are where new stars can form. In this image, dust warmed by the light of hot, young stars glows red. The rest of the galaxy's hundreds of billions of stars are less prominent and form a blue haze. Astronomers can use infrared light to examine the dust clouds where stars are born.

Image details

ID#:
PIA11796

Date added:
2009-02-10

Target:
Messier 101

Mission:
Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope

Spacecraft:
Spitzer Space Telescope

Instruments:
Infrared Array Camera (IRAC)

Size:
7200 x 7200 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
7,888

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA11796.tif (155.52 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA11796.jpg (2.86 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI